June 8, 2018, Toomer’s Corner is flooded with people, music, and all types of art. Last night Auburn’s annual Summernight Downtown Art Walk took place, hosted by the Auburn Arts Association, City of Auburn, Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center (JDCAC) and Auburn Downtown Merchants Association. This festival gave vendors and attendees the chance to enjoy and appreciate some of Auburn’s local artists.
At 5 p.m. a light rain came down, but that wasn’t enough to put people off their festive moods. Families and friends gathered at Pebble Hill to prepare for a parade to kick off the art event. Children decorated masks and wore brightly colored necklaces, Parents decorated strollers and wagons, and some groups came in costumes. At 5:50 p.m. the parade is under way, West Magnolia Avenue is filled with dogs, dancers, and Aubie riding in a firetruck towards Toomer’s.
The parade comes to an end in Toomer’s with Aubie greeting everyone and the various groups and people moving to join the crowd. At the end of the parade is the Variations Dance Studio. As a final kickoff, the dance studio performs a dance routine with music from the movie “The Greatest Showman.” And with that, the Summernight Art Walk was officially started.
There was something for everyone. A local band “Spoonful James” played live music while people toured the different shops and booths. A Chevy Van G20 sold coffee and other drinks from a small trailer hitched to it. Next to it, a Volkswagen Van had been converted into a photo booth, accompanied by outrageous masks and hats for people to wear. And in the middle of the street children lined up to get their requests taken by a balloon artist, who was handing out hats, swords, and flower bouquets.
Toomer’s Corner was filled with vendors and artists, looking to show off their work. The Auburn Arts Association’s booth had an interactive art table where participants could etch their own drawings with stencils. Other tables would sell the art in various forms, “I can paint your pet,” a sign at a booth read, alongside vibrant paintings of dogs, cats and giraffes. Some vendors looked to sell paintings and picture, while others simply wanted to show off their work, putting their creations up for all to see.
There were many other arts and crafts being displayed there too, like the Knickknack robots called, “Hardbot Family” and old propane tanks that had been painted and transformed into flower pots and door stops shaped as different animals. And there were several booths selling handmade crafts too, pottery, jewelry, even totes and bookbags were showcased and sold. One artist, Mitch Gooden, sold different kind of art, action figure photography. Where different toys and action figures were set up in different locations and positions to bring the characters to life in fun and unusual ways.
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The Summertime Art Walk transformed Toomer’s corner into a real art festival with an infectious atmosphere that made you smile. With good food, great live music, and inspired art all around it would have been hard to find any unhappy customers. The love and dedication of all the artists were present not only in their work but the entire festival. A festival that represented the art in some ways, it was put together with hard work and dedication, and filled with love and joy.
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